Curtis changes its tune, builds new digs

    The Curtis Institute of Music is building a new 10-story home on Locust Street that will offer Curtis students more practice areas.

    The Curtis Institute of Music is building a new 10-story home on Locust Street that will offer Curtis students more practice areas. But it will also bring the 85 year-old music school facilities it never had. School officials broke ground on the 65 million dollar building yesterday.

    Listen:
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    The Curtis is known as one of the more exclusive music schools in the world, but it has never had a rehearsal space for its orchestra, nor has it ever offered residences to its students. The new building will have those as well as a dining hall and about 35 additional practice rooms.

    The building was made possible in large part by a 30 million dollar gift from Gerry Lenfest. He says the economic recession should spur philanthropists now more than ever.

    Lenfest: People are loyal to the institution, recognize it’s harder to raise money, and therefore they should have an added incentive to come forward now. Those that are most loyal should come forward.

    The building was designed by famed architect Robert Venturi’s firm, and will retain facades of the existing brownstone houses along Locust Street. It is due to be completed in 2011.

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